"The darkness is no barrier to me. I agree that we should stake out the graveyard. With his coffin smashed, Otis will have no choice but to try to set up a new dwelling. Let's catch him at it and put him to rest."
1d20 + 3 ⇒ (8) + 3 = 11
"I can probably last a little longer if you guys can. Hopefully he'll show up soon! Of course, reading Victor's journal made it clear that Otis was not very bright -- I might go so far as to call him 'challenged,' based on some of the stuff there -- so chances are he'll walk right into an ambush. Then again," she adds, "vampires are supposed to be unnaturally cunning."
The churchyard has a big open lawn, shaded by trees, with an iron fence around it. There's a nice view of the whole place from the church bell tower windows. Kelgan and Jaegr instantly recognize the tower as a near-ideal sniper's nest (just by taking 10 on Knowledge: Warfare; they don't even need to roll a check).
Jed had previously offered to let you guys can crash on the floor of his cabin, but the Tusk has much better accommodations. You've spotted his home only when you were on the way out to hunt the boar; it looks like it will be very cramped accommodations. Then again, if you're sleeping in shifts, that's hardly important.
People expect to see goblins in the gutter, so that's no big deal.
Miralda is really tired. Cricket and Caspian are getting there quickly. Wyvurn is probably OK for a few more hours. The two dwarves and Wolvie don't understand why everyone else isn't still as awake as they are.
"Bed down. If something happens at night that we can't handle, we'll wake you, or the noise will. This vampire is about the only thing around, as far as we know. I'd rather deal with it sooner, and get back to finding Lord Fenrift's daughter."
OK, let's assume you guys all get rested up and are able to re-convene the next afternoon. That means that Cricket, Caspian, and Miralda have time to get breakfast or catch a nap or [redacted], but for now the gods of propriety are pointedly ignoring all these possibilities in favor of fast-forwarding to the next afternoon.
Kelgan awakes with a powerful appetite. He lugs his gear downstairs and orders his meal from Tusk, requesting it be delivered out back. Soon, the sharp, cracking sounds of crossbow fire can be heard from behind the inn.
Kelgan eats with relish, chewing noisily while he sights in his crossbow. Once satisfied with the sighting, he begins to practice one-handed, bracing the crossbow on his shield. The bow tends to jump around on the surface, so he takes a break and carves a notch into the top of the shield. He refines the notch with further shots and several more cuts until he is satisfied with the mounting point.
Spending an hour to swap Exotic proficiency from glaive to crossbow, choosing Fell Shot. Would like to spend time to retrain Combat Reflexes to Deadly Aim.
Kelgan wraps up his practice. After an hour or so he gets the notch in his shield adjusted to his satisfaction. Shooting at the knots on fenceposts, he misses as often as not, but when he hits one with a bolt, the entire post tends to split open along a line of weakness. Kelgan feels pretty sure he could target the weak points on creatures the same way -- especially if his bolts penetrate their armor, and he thinks he might have the knack of that as well.
He notices, however, that the crossbow-shield setup slightly inhibits his ability to swing around and react to more than one sudden threat.
Cricket looks for a church in which to procure holy water. He accumulates every fetish, charm, and other piece of mumbo jumbo that he's ever heard an old Tuelvi maid recommend against vampires and then hurries back to be with the group.
There's only one church in town, and you slept in the grass outside of it, so it's not too hard to find. The problem is that Victor was the vicar, and Jaegr pulled a Gallagher routine using his head as a watermelon.
Satisfied that his steelband hasn't gotten rusty with disuse, Kelgan returns to the inn and pens a missive. His hands sting from the repeated recoil and he makes a bit of a mess with his quill. Grumbling, he sets out another sheet of paper and dutifully copies the letter, setting and sealing it with a signet ring he carries in his coin-purse. He stands and crosses to the bar for a refill, tossing the crumpled draft at the fireplace, where it bounces and lands unnoticed to the side of the sooty mouth. He drains his mug in a single swallow and hands the sealed parchment to Tusk, passing along some coins to ensure it reaches it's intended destination.
The bullywug threat is real, and the lizardfolk are unable to ally with us against them. Their village and all inhabitants fell before we had even arrived, and their ambassador went mad with grief and wandered into the swamp. My shaman tells me great evil was used in the destruction of the village, and that the spirits of the dwellers might have been captured or sacrificed. I mention that possibility only because of the remote proximity to Skarn Keep; normally I'd discount the goblin's ramblings. In truth, their destruction is almost certainly entirely unrelated to the events that follow.
We reconnoitered the Keep and found it to be an imposing and dangerous place - one best left undisturbed without better forces or magical aid. Investigating a wyrm's lair for traces of the missing girl, we happened upon the elf Miralda, whom we rescued from some marauding ogres.
Following on some leads she had, we journeyed to Wolvishton, where we encountered and swiftly dispatched a fiendishly large boar that had been preying on the locals. The beast's body dissolved into acrid smoke upon death, evidence of its otherworldly origins. The local vicar's behavior aroused my suspicions, and we confronted him at his home, were he stabled a congregation of zombies. Destroying them, and a vampiric spawn that laired within as well, we were unfortunately unable to question the vicar when he was slain outright by the Dverge.
His journal recorded a dark descent after the death of his brother and his contact with Dispar Anasovin and friar Donaldson - names you are, no doubt, familiar with. The vicar's brother was killed by the boar I mentioned earlier, and was risen as a vampire through the corrupting influence of the friar. We have yet to locate the vampire, but its destruction is assured if it remains here.
As an aside, the boar, the vampire, and an army of vengeance - whose existence I've yet to see any evidence of - were three curses set upon the village by Anasovin, according to local rumor. Anasovin also supposedly lost something within the Erb, which we'll recover should we chance across it.
As a small, unrelated matter, I recall you hunting once with a great steelbow from Kaiserburg that threw quarrels fit to punch through a stone wall. I find myself in need of such a weapon, and would be ever grateful if you'd lend my name to your supplier. I was unable to locate one I trusted during my visit there last spring.
I'll not cease my efforts to find the missing girl, nor let any subjects of the realm suffer when I can aid them. Evil shall not escape my justice.
Ever in your service,
Venturing outside, he seeks out his companions with his plan:
"In Victor's journal, he mentioned Otis killing a sewer worker. I had thought Wolvishton too small for such urban luxuries, but apparently they have one. It's there we might find Otis and end his false life."
The church doors are locked. Cricket can either invest in some Disable Device ranks, attempt to climb the bell tower and see if there's a way down into the church from there, or blatantly chuck a rock through one of the stained-glass windows. The latter solution will bring most of the townsfolk to investigate, however, and since this is a very poor village, they'll likely be incredibly annoyed. There might be another way in, too, if you think of it.
Cricket feels the heft of the stone in his hand and looks wistfully at the stained glass window before sighing and dropping the rock on the ground. Thank you, Caspian he says, pocketing a flask of holy water.
In response to Wyvurn's query, Jed replies, thoughtfully, "A while back the mayor or alderman or whatever they call him now decided we needed to expand, and that we needed 'infrastructure!' to do it. (I remember that word because everyone kept repeating it.) Apparently they meant a sewer. So they hired like three or four guys to dig one, and for a while I guess they were making progress. But it didn't expand the town, and come to think of it, I haven't seen any of those guys around lately. I just assumed they got tired of that kind of a BS project and walked off the job, but if you're telling me there's actual vampires around, maybe that's what happened to them."